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© Asahi Kasei Business | February 21, 2022

AKM is still puzzled by the fire from 2020

While investigations into the fire that ravished Asahi Kasei Microdevices’ (AKM) semiconductor factory in Nobeoka, Japan back in October 2020 has been completed, some questions still remain.

The fire broke out on 20 October, 2020 and it took a total of three days to completely extinguish. No employees were injured during the fire, but the factory, which manufactures large-scale integrated circuits (LSIs) for audio equipment was severely damaged.

Once the fire had been fully extinguished it became clear that the fifth floor had been critically damaged, which included a collapsed ceiling. All of this meant that any kind of construction would have to be carried out with great caution and consideration of potential impact to other areas, as previously reported.

In November last year the company told Evertiq that debris removal had been conducted strenuously and that some of the production had been transferred to manufacturing partners.

Evertiq reached out once more for an update on the investigation into the cause of the fire to see how the recovery process is proceeding.

“Our own investigation into the cause of the fire has been completed, but the plant is severely damaged and we are unable to identify the cause. The fire is believed to have started inside a cleanroom, so we are reinforcing fire prevention measures inside cleanrooms at our other plants,” Taro Sekizuka, General Manager – Media Relations Department, tells Evertiq in an emailed statement.

Mr. Sekizuka continues to explain that the process of dismantling and the removal of debris continues to progress cautiously while still prioritising safety.

Employees based at the fire damaged plant has been moved to other positions and the company has continuously work to recover the capacity loss. However, there are still uncertainties regarding when, or it, we might see the plant back up and running.

“While no decision has been made regarding reconstruction of the plant, alternative production is advancing smoothly and supply of some products has resumed. Employees have been reassigned to other positions in the Asahi Kasei Group,” says Taro Sekizuka.

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October 05 2022 12:09 pm V20.8.44-1
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